Master's Degree Programs in Business Law
Read more about master's degree programs that cover business law. Find out about the topics you can study, careers options and prerequisites for entering these graduate programs.
Which Master's Degree Programs Cover Business Law?
Most master's degree programs focused on business law cover international business, trade or corporate governance. They typically come in the form of a Master of Jurisprudence (M.J.) or Master of Laws (LL.M.), and some are part of a joint master's degree and Juris Doctor (J.D.) program. Master's programs in business law typically are not available online, though there are a few available online programs.
|Business Law Areas of Study||International business, Trade, Corporate Governance; Available as M.J. (Master of Jurisprudence), LL.M. (Master of Laws), or a joint master's and J.D. (Juris Doctor) program|
|Reasons to Pursue a Business Law Degree||Career advancement in area of study|
|Areas of Study||Business practices, Trade regulations, Contracts, Regulatory compliance, and Legal research; Other specialized coursework is dependent on degree and concentration|
|Enrollment Requirements||Bachelor's degree, and in some programs, experience practicing law is required|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||8% growth (for lawyers)*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$120,910 (for lawyers)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Why Should I Earn a Degree?
Aside from engaging in the general practice or study of business law, there are other reasons for earning your degree, which vary by the program you choose. For example, a J.D./Master in Global Business Law is designed for students with a legal background looking for a legal career focused on global market analysis. If you're a legal professional in a supervisory position, earning your M.J. in Business and Corporate Governance Law can prepare you for advanced tasks related to corporate governance, litigation and legal representation.
An LL.M. in International Economic Law, Business and Policy will prepare you for a career in international trade dispute arbitration, finance, legal practice and securities law. Earning an LL.M. in International Trade and Business Law, LL.M. in International Business and Trade Law or Executive LL.M. in International Business Law serves the same purpose.
As of May 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that lawyers who worked in the management industry for companies and enterprises earned an average salary of $178,090 (www.bls.gov). Job openings for lawyers in general were expected to increase by 8% from 2016-2026, per the BLS.
What Will I Learn?
Generally, master's degree programs that cover business law focus on business practices, trade regulations, contracts, regulatory compliance and legal research. Otherwise, each type of program offers specialized coursework or focuses more on a particular area of business law.
For example, M.J. in Business and Corporate Governance Law programs cover business structure, regulatory analysis, regulatory compliance, securities and risk management. LL.M. in International Business and Trade Law programs allow you to study international trade frameworks, such as the World Trade Organization. You'll also learn about copyright law, environmental treaties, dispute resolution, comparative law and international conflicts.
Executive LL.M. in International Business Law programs often allow you to complete some coursework online because they're designed for working professionals; however, you'll need to complete most courses on campus. You can expect to learn about the American legal system, international transactions, corporate finance, accounting, securities regulation and business acquisitions. LL.M. in International Trade and Business Law programs teach you about international trade remedies and multinational corporate organization. Programs that award an LL.M. in International Economic Law, Business and Policy provide more specialized coursework in international investment law, taxation and conflict resolution.
If you're looking to earn your J.D./Master in Global Business Law, then you can expect to complete requirements for the bar exam in a foreign country while completing the requirements to practice law in the United States. These programs also provide instruction on consumer contracts, legal traditions and harmonizing the laws and regulations of two or more jurisdictions.
What Do I Need to Enroll?
Depending upon the program you choose, prerequisites vary from a 4-year degree to experience practicing law. If you only have a bachelor's degree, you can enroll in a graduate program to earn your Master of Jurisprudence in Corporate and Business Law. You also can enroll in a M.J. in Business and Corporate Governance Law program with a 4-year degree, but you'll need to acquire business experience before applying.
J.D./Master in Global Business Law programs admit students who've completed two years of law school and have proficiency in a foreign language. LL.M. programs usually look for students who've graduated from law school, and in some cases, have experience practicing law.